Tuesday, June 3

the battleground

As stable as my life is, I do realize that around the country and world as a whole, there are numerous battles being formulated, fought and eventually finished. Winners and losers are being determined day and night.

With that in mind, the battle closest to me, regionally, is being fought in and around my back stoop. There are no weapons dealers, no government funded military, no deaths that I know of...yet. However, the warriors are tenacious, they are stubborn, and strong. Each fighter weighs in at only a few grams, they fly by their own means, and their weapons are their own beaks. The battle is being waged between a horde of hummingbirds. And the spoils of the victor is in the form of sugar water.

Like tiny fencing champs, these hummingbirds use their beaks and strike at each other while hovering acrobatically in the air. I've been mesmerized for whole quarters of an hour watching the battles play out. Today the winners are the females, while the losing males stay on the fringes, restricted to finding natural nectar in the flowering shrubs all around. I noticed one fat, little female sitting on the climbing rose bush near the feeder, just waiting for another bird to fly in for a snack. Then as soon as one comes in the "zone", she chases it off with the tip of her pointed beak. What a bully!


Raleigh said...

you make it sound so dramatic. love it. we've had one or two hummers flitting around lately, but no feeder, so they are clearly off to more hospitable yards. marvels of nature!

Leslie said...

These little birds visit the feeder non-stop from sun-up to sun-down. I fear I'm giving them their first good look at diabetes.